What this post is about: My winter essentials for battling chapped lips, lifeless skin and all the havoc that harsh winters inflict on your mind and body.
I’m that person who feels cold all the freaking time. Don’t get me wrong, I love myself some winter sun basking, but late night parties dancing in the lawn with rattling bones and chattering jaws is not exactly my favourite weekend activity. Winters come with a whole lot of nuisances – dry skin, flaky lips, allergic eczema, and toes that never see the light of day. Winter takes its toll on your mind and your body. So, today I’m sharing some beauty and wellness hacks that will help soothen matters this cold, gloomy winter!
On a more positive note, winter is also hot chocolate weather and backyard bonfire weather, so I’m not really complaining! I’m all about cold days, warm hearts 🙂
Drinking enough water is as important for your skin as it is for your body. Warm water will also aid better digestion and will help avoid the contagious flu that catches on with weather change.
As an Indian, coconut oil has been a huge part of my skin care and hair care through my growing years. It is the ideal massage oil for hair, skin or nails. Fantastic for presumptive prevention of stretch marks in pregnancy or for adding to homemade body butters (see recipe here), coconut oil is a cheap, effective, and miraculous alternative to many luxurious skin care and hair care products. However, for those suffering with dry/allergic Eczema (like me), avoid the use of oil-based moisturizers. Stick to products that are water-based.
My go to winter moisturizer is the Palmer’s Cocoa butter formula. I used it through my pregnancy and still love its sweet smell. I also use it for my toddler and absolutely love his chocolatey smelling cuddles!
White lips, pale face, breathing in snowflakes! Nobody wants a selfie ruined by a chapped pout. Just like the rest of your face, your lips need some winter TLC too. Use a gentle sugar scrub or any lip scrub of your liking for some gentle exfoliation to keep chapping and flaking at bay.
This winter I rediscovered a super effective multipurpose healing balm from my childhood – Boroline! Remember the familiar green tube and the mild herby scent? I still think it makes for a great winter lip balm. Also effective for dry baby cheeks!
Those pretty feet
It’s all well thinking of cold cozy nights, warm blanket snuggles and velvety soft socks! But, when the cold winter floor feels like a huge block of ice, remember to keep your feet moisturized before getting them toasty in some really warm socks. A good foot cream will ensure you get through winter crack-free (see my foot pamper routine here).
Try The Moms Co. Natural Foot cream; it’s all natural with peppermint essential oil that leaves your feet feeling cool and tingly!
It’s in your hands
It’s not only the skin on your face that’s prone to dryness in the winter. Your hands face the same harsh environmental elements, and so it is imperative that you add a hand cream to your skin care routine this winter. Stash one in your car, on your work desk, on the kitchen counter and in the bathroom. Apply generously every time you use a hand wash or a hand sanitizer as these often have drying agents in them.
See a review of my trending favourite hand creams here.
Harsh winters that make the skin oh-so-dry require you to amp up your skin care game. Your regular day moisturizer just won’t cut it. After using a mild facial cleanser to remove make up (better still, use a micellar water) consider switching to a water-based moisturizer to hydrate and rejuvenate your skin when you sleep at night.
Some great micellar water options: La Roche Posay Physiological Micellar Solution for Sensitive Skin or the drugstore cult fave, the Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water.
Read more about my K-beauty skin care routine here.
Mist your face with a setting spray instead of using a pressed powder that may accentuate dry patches. Use a pure rosewater mist to add hydration to your face, soothe tired eyes or set your makeup. Refresh every couple of hours to stay hydrated and dewy-skinned on-the-go. Hold the spray 8-10 inches away from the face, close your eyes and spray in an X and T motion.
The Kama Ayurveda Pure Rosewater Mist is the absolute best I have used so far. I have one in my hand bag for whenever my skin aches for a burst of moisture. The fragrance and travel size bottle are added bonuses.
Tip: For some gentle homemade exfoliation, mix 2 tbsp of gram flour, 2 tbsp fresh cream, and 2-3 drops of your favourite essential oil in approximately 4 tbsp of pure rosewater (soak some rose petals in water overnight or use store-bought) to make a sticky paste. Use as a gentle scrub all over the body and rinse off with some warm water. This one is a well known, Indian, homemade beauty hack.
Dial it down baby
Nothing like a hot fuming shower on a cold winter evening, yeah? But hot showers can dry out your skin, stripping your skin of its natural oils and moisture levels. Hot water can also leave your skin feeling itchy, red, tight and raw (not the greatest feeling!). So think beyond what you put on your skin – dial down the temps in the shower to lukewarm.
Wearing a layer of pure cotton clothes inside woollen or synthetic outerwear can prevent further irritation to dry and flaky skin. Ensure that your sleepwear is made of pure soft cotton and that your sheets and pillow cases are made of cotton too. I hate my hair standing up with static charge when it makes contact with polyester bedding! Ugh!
Tip: Frizzy haired girls may find that sleeping on satin pillowcases ensures that you don’t further tangle you mane while you toss and turn in bed. Wake up with hair that’s willing to behave without spritzing your hairspray around like a maniac.
Adding back moisture
Winter air is often low in moisture, especially if you live close to a desert like me. This can make your skin look and feel lifeless and may trigger allergic eczema in those prone to severe skin dryness. Central heating further saps the air of its humidity. Investing in a humidifier can counteract this, as they add moisture back into the environment. They also help your skin retain optimum hydration, so they are worth every penny. Keeping open broad-mouthed bowls of water in the corner of every room with a few drops of your favourite essential oil is another way of adding moisture back to your surroundings.
Humidifiers are also wonderful for babies suffering with dry skin or a dry nasal passage. Keep it running while your baby sleeps at night and both of you will benefit from it.
Nature seems to be in hibernation for the winter and it can be rough to go without seeing some green leaves for months on end. Finding some low maintenance house plants to liven up your spaces can help lift spirits temporarily until spring arrives. Succulents are friendly house plants for those that lack a green thumb.
Dealing with Eczema
Eczema is an allergic reaction, but the cold, dry, windy weather can often be a trigger. From your face cleanser in the morning, to the detergent you use for your inners, to the bath soap you use at night, protecting your skin before it flares up is the name of the eczema game. Look after yourself before it’s too late. Many of the pointers above should help with making it easier for you this winter.
For those aching to see the sun, hold on – you’re almost there. If winter’s here, spring can’t be far behind.
Until next time, look after your skin, you gotta live in it forever.
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